Study Irrigation for Home Gardens
Learn to select, install and maintain irrigation systems for home gardens, parks or ornamental horticulture.
Water is essential to plant growth and is often the major limitation to productivity. Irrigation is now playing a more important role in horticulture as well as home gardens than ever before.
Irrigation can enable plants or turf to be grown in a dry climate where it would not otherwise be possible. It can supplement the existing rainfall and improve growth rates by extending the growth period of the plant, or it can ensure that there is adequate moisture during critical periods when the plant is growing most rapidly. The value of irrigation can vary greatly from year to year depending on the distribution of rainfall during the growth season.
Irrigation at appropriate times can also improve the quality of turf or the general health of garden plants.This course that covers the design, installation, maintenance, operation and evaluation of simple irrigation systems.
Note: This course is similar to our Irrigation (Crops) and Irrigation (Agriculture) courses but has an emphasis on irrigation for parks, home gardens, and other ornamental horticulture areas. You should only study one of these courses.
"This is the first correspondence course I have done and I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU. I appreciate everyone's effort in such a professionally-run organisation with seamless administration. The office staff's happy can-do attitude, their fast responses to all queries, tutor Shane Gould's quick turnaround in assignment marking and his supportive and motivational feedback and last but not least, the sound subject guides. Most importantly I hope my thanks and appreciation can be communicated to all the staff who have supported me long the way of my learning! I work full time and study on the weekend but really don't stop thinking about what gardening solution I need in order to answer my assignments every day of the week. Thank you for such a great learning experience and I cant wait to start the second half of my course!!" Skye, ACS student
There are 10 lessons in this course:
Introduction to Irrigation
Soil Characteristics & Problems
Estimating Plant Needs & Irrigation Scheduling
Types of Irrigation Systems
Pumps & Filters
Selecting the Right System for a Plant
Design & Operation of Systems.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Explain the significance of soil in irrigation.
Explain how to determine when to irrigate in a small scale situation.
Manage irrigation in a given situation.
Explain the significance of different aspects of moving water including: drainage, pumps, filters, storage and recirculation.
Select an appropriate irrigation system for a given situation.
Explain the principles of design for a simple irrigation system.
Design a simple irrigation system.
Oversee the installation of an irrigation system.
SOILS AFFECT IRRIGATION
The more uniform the irrigation block, the easier it will be to manage. Problems of patchiness can arise, for example, in hand forming when a cut is made into subsoil that is more clayey or more sandy than the topsoil. So, it is necessary to level the land and examine the soil to the depth of the maximum cut to determine the likely effect on soil texture.
Available soil water capacity
A high available soil water capacity is desirable for crops because the higher it is, the less likely the plant is to become stressed between irrigations. The best soils are generally loams or clay loams. The soil needs to be examined to the likely maximum rooting depth both to determine the available soil water capacity and to ensure there is no bedrock, hard pan or other root impeding layers.
This refers to process of water entry into the soil. It is influenced by:
a) Soil type and soil texture. Sandy soils generally have higher long term water penetration rates than clayey soils.
b) The condition of the surface soil. Water will enter faster if the soil surface is friable and open or is extensively and deeply cracked. Compacted or crusted soil with few cracks has a low infiltration rate.
c) The stability of the surface soil. Low water stability means that the soil crumbs do not stay together when wetted. Low water stability results in slow water penetration unless the soil is sandy. Also, it often results in the formation of a surface crust as the soil dries which will reduce infiltration at the next irrigation.
d) Depth of soil above an impermeable layer. The soil may consist of a light loam topsoil over a clay subsoil or bedrock. In this case, water up over the impermeable layer reduces water penetration.
WHO WILL BENFIT FROM THIS COURSE?
- Home gardeners
- Irrigation retailers
- Thse working in parks and gardens
- Professional gardeners
- Grounds managers
- Small production horticulture enterprises
- Retail nurseries